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Researchers could create better understanding of soils

Researchers are trying to "get the dirt" on the soils where growers are planting and harvesting their crops, and one Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researcher is using digitized maps to help them improve their yields.

May 22, 2009  By New Brunswick Business Journal

May 21, 2009

Kyle Mullin

You Jiao says digitized maps can help farmers get a better lay of the land so they can plant better crops.


"I want to save them time, save them trial and error," said the soil scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. "If they don't know what kind of soil they're planting in, then the crop they yield will be no good. Then they'll need a soil analysis to find out why they failed."

Jiao said those failures are too costly, in this economic climate or any other. That's why he's building an easy access database, where farmers can eventually log onto its website, zoom in on their plot of land and tell what kind of soil they have after a quick glance at the colour scheme.

"These maps help them with land management. If they have information they can better manage their land and get economic benefits quicker."

Scientists and geologists have spent decades in the field, tabulating the province's soil types. By measuring PH levels, they can determine whether an area is better suited to plant blueberries or potatoes.

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